"New human possibilities" in Patočka's philosophy of literature

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This article considers Patočka's phenomenological account of literature in "The Writer's Concern" to defend the idea that literary writing offers a distinctive philosophical contribution. In this text, Patočka gives the writer a special claim on the activity of world disclosure and suggests that literature may offer a glimpse out of the techno-scientific framework that dominates contemporary life. I examine both science and literature as modes of relating to the world, raising questions about the distinctiveness of each and their use of the written word. Finally, I locate the philosophical advantage of literary writing in Patočka's dual claims about literature: that it offers "an individual capturing of life's meaning" and that it presents "the world" as an "undivided" whole.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.5817/BL2020-2-5
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages11
JournalBohemica Litteraria
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020


  • Phenomenology
  • phenomenology of art
  • phenomenology of literature
  • philosophy of literature
  • Literary Criticism
  • Literary theory


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